New study reveals contrasting consequences of warmer Earth

A new study, by scientists from the Universities of York, Glasgow and Leeds, involving analysis of fossil and geological records going back 540 million years, suggests that biodiversity on Earth generally increases as the planet warms.

But the research says that the increase in biodiversity depends on the evolution of new species over millions of years, and is normally accompanied by extinctions of existing species. The researchers suggest that present trends of increasing temperature are unlikely to boost global biodiversity in the short term because of the long timescales necessary for new forms to evolve. Instead, the speed of current change is expected to cause diversity loss. The study which is published in (PNAS) says that while in the geological past experienced increased extinctions, they also promoted the origination of new species, increasing overall biodiversity.

The new research is a refinement of an earlier study that analysed biodiversity over the same , but with a less sophisticated data set, and concluded that a warming climate led to drops in overall diversity. Using the improved data that are now available, the researchers re-examined patterns of marine invertebrate biodiversity over the last 540 million years.

Lead author, Dr Peter Mayhew, of the Department of Biology at York, said: "The improved data give us a more secure picture of the impact of warmer temperatures on and they show that, as before, there is more extinction and origination in warm geological periods. But, overall, warm climates seem to boost biodiversity in the very long run, rather than reducing it."

Dr Alistair McGowan, of the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow said: "The previous findings always seemed paradoxical. Ecological studies show that consistently increases towards the Equator, where it is warm, yet the relationship between biodiversity and temperature through time appeared to be the opposite. Our new results reverse these conclusions and bring them into line with the ecological pattern."

Professor Tim Benton, of the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds, added: "Science progresses by constantly re-examining conclusions in the light of better data. Our results seem to show that temperature improves through time as well as across space. However, they do not suggest that current global warming is good for existing species. Increases in global diversity take millions of years, and in the meantime we expect extinctions to occur."

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More information: Biodiversity tracks temperature over time, PNAS, 2012.
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Sep 03, 2012
The description of the result is also complicated by the latest study of mass extinctions, where diversity is randomly distributed after recovery. I.e. diversity jumps either way, even if it increases on average over longer periods of increased bioproductivity (warmer global climate).

Sep 03, 2012
Greenland! What is the current status of the 'sudden' melting there?
During recorded History, there was Farming in/on Greenland, never mind the changes over geologic, epochs . . .

Sep 04, 2012
Did the study mention anything about biodiversity with CO2 levels above 1,000 or 2,000 ppm?

Sep 04, 2012
@ NotParker: It is trivial and also irrelevant that you can choose data in a sufficiently noisy signal to make the signal appear however you want. For example, make "a negative trend" on a background of a rising trend.

If you accept a false premise, you can show anything. What the climate science says out of many confirming observations is that there is global warming. (See IPCC 2007 for a summary.)

Sep 04, 2012
ParkerTard once again uses Hadcrut3 even though he has been told dozens of times that it doesn't have global coverage

It has imperfect global coverage up to June 2012.


HADCRUT4 has imperfect coverage ending in 2010.

2 year old data is worthless.

Which of the 100 versions of HADCRUT4 did you use VD?

"Q: Why are there 100 versions of the data set?

A: Errors in climate data sets come from various sources. Some, like transcription errors, affect a single reading. Others, like the calibration error on a single ships thermometer affect measurements over a much wider area, but are unlikely to affect estimates of long-term trends spanning decades. These types of errors are handled in the traditional way and are presented as a set of error-covariance matrices that encode this information.

Systematic errors such as those associated with station moves ... "

Sep 04, 2012
What the climate science says out of many confirming observations is that there is global warming. (See IPCC 2007 for a summary.)

HADCRUT3 formed the basis of IPCC 2007. Now everyone on the AGW side hates it because it shows a negative trend (small) over the last 15 years.

Sep 04, 2012
It's physics. Things expand when heated.

Sep 04, 2012
Not for long.

"HADCRUT4 has imperfect coverage ending in 2010." - ParkerTard

But if it is an issue then use GISS.




Sep 05, 2012
How about using the Berkeley Earth study? It's in part funded by the Kochs, after all (as I suspect, is NotParker.)


Look ma, a hockey stick!

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